They say no pain means no gain. I put it this way, "No strain, no gain." Paul wrote in Philippians 3 that we should strain and press toward the goal of the high calling in Christ Jesus. The Christian life is a blessed life, but it is not exempt from trials. American Christians have lived with a "bless me Lord" mentality for many years while failing to realize that serving the Lord does not come without cost. s
Jesus told us to take up our cross and follow Him. That is strain and pain. Crosses are not easy. They hurt the flesh. They don't feel good. They are extremely painful. Yet, the Cross of Christ brought the greatest blessing to mankind. Without the Cross there would be no salvation. We would be lost. Jesus died and endured the shame and pain of the Cross so would could live.
I have found that to make gains in my running is painful and requires some strain. Often not long into my runs I want to quit. It hurts. Is strains, but if I press through the strain then I can finish the course. I can win the race. I can experience gain.
That is true in God's call on my life. Sometimes it just hurts and the sacrifice is great. My cross seems heavy. The strain isn't easy. But Jesus come to be my burden bearer. He helps carry the load. Through Him I can do all things.
I am willing Lord, if you will help me. Help me to run my race and finish my course.